Oftentimes our students' writing seems stale, yet they can't pinpoint the problem. Poor word choice, resulting in lack of voice, is a likely culprit. This sorting activity gives students the opportunity to think critically about specific v. nonspecific words. Furthermore, the extra exposure to these words will, ideally, put the more interesting and appropriate vocabulary at the forefront of their minds for future use.
While this activity could be used as part of a mini-lesson or review, it also serves as a great enrichment exercise for students who finish their work more quickly and need an educational activity to keep them occupied.
I found it a helpful timesaver to laminate these sheets and cut out the words in advance. Students can use dry-erase markers to write their own nonspecific/specific words on the extra spaces.
An answer key is included.